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G7 countries agree to end use of coal power by 2035, says UK minister

G7 countries agree to end use of coal power by 2035, says UK minister

Baku, April 30, AZERTAC

Energy and climate ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations have agreed to phase out by 2035 the use of coal power where the emissions have not been captured, a UK minister said, giving the group a timeline for meeting the deal struck at last year’s UN climate summit in Dubai.

The COP28 summit ended with a pledge to transition away from fossil fuels, and accelerate efforts towards the phase-down of so-called unabated coal power.

Andrew Bowie, the UK minister for nuclear and renewables, described the agreement reached at this week’s G7 ministers meeting in Turin as “historic” in an interview with CNBC on Monday. “We do have an agreement to phase out coal in the first half of the 2030s,” he said.

Sources said the final agreement, however, could include leeway in the planned timeline to include the option of a date “consistent with keeping a limit of 1.5C temperature rise [above pre-industrial levels] within reach, in line with countries’ net zero pathways”. This would help countries heavily reliant on coal, such as Japan.

An Italian diplomatic source confirmed that the outlines of a deal had been agreed and said more details would be formally announced by ministers after the final day of meetings on Tuesday.

A move away from coal would “help accelerate the shift of investment from coal to clean technology in particular in Japan and more broadly in the whole Asian coal economy, including China and India,” said Luca Bergamaschi, co-founder of Italian climate change think-tank EccoClimate.

Under new rules unveiled by the US last week, coal plants planning to stay open beyond 2039 will have to cut or capture 90 per cent of their carbon dioxide emissions by 2032.

The global capacity of coal-fired power stations grew by 2 per cent last year driven mainly by new plants in energy-hungry China, while there was a slowing in the pace of closures of plants in the EU countries and the US.

Climate activists said the phaseout deal did not go fast or far enough to address the global warming effect of fossil fuel consumption. All the G7 industrialised nations apart from Japan had already committed to phasing out coal power domestically, they noted.

Countries that wished to demonstrate the ambition needed to limit warming to not more than 1.5C, a key threshold in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, should take a tougher stance, said Jane Ellis, head of climate policy at the Berlin-based Climate Analytics.

The non-governmental organisation had called for the G7 to set an earlier 2030 phaseout date for power generation by coal, and a 2035 deadline for gas-fired supplies.

G7 members were responsible for more than a fifth of global emissions in 2021, it said, but none were on track to meet their 2030 emission reduction targets.

The chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, those nations that are vulnerable to sea level rise and other climate extremes caused by global warming, urged rich countries to make bold emission cuts to avoid the worst of its affects.

“Urgently and drastically increasing your ambition is the only way we can safeguard a liveable world for all,” said Ambassador Fatumanava Dr. Pa’olelei Luteru, who serves as a permanent representative from Samoa to the UN.

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